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Vegetation Fetures of Beech Forests of Psunj, Papuk and Krndija Mountains

Keywords: forests , Fagus sylvatica , vegetation ecology , Slavonian mountains , Croatia

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Abstract:

The Slavonianmountains have an important place in the floristic and vegetation picture of the continental part of Croatia. For the most part, the forest cover of this region consists of common beech stands (Fagus sylvatica L.). Many authors have worked on defining plant communities of common beech in the northern part of Croatia in the last ten years. Even though this has greatly contributed to get a better understanding of them,many questions have remained open. This is so because the research wasmostly conducted on smaller geographical scale where local conditions (specific microhabitat, anthropogenic influences, etc.) significantly affected the phytosociological analyses. On the other hand, it is rather difficult to carry out the analyses on a larger geographical scale because many regions and/or vegetative types are still scarcely covered by relevés. The goal of this study is to analyze the floral composition of beech forests of Psunj, Papuk and Krndija mountains, which have not been sufficiently studied so far. The next goal is to define and draw boundaries between plant communities, and also to analyze some of the ecological and phytogeographical features. During field studies of beech forests of Psunj, Papuk and Krndija mountains, 88 relevés were made using central European Braun-Blanquet methodology. The relevés have been compared with the relevés of similar vegetation in the wider geographical region (N Croatia, N Slovenia, S Hungary). The analysis included 1509 published relevés of 13 associations from Slovene Phytosociological Database ( ilc 2006) and Croatian database of forests vegetation (Krstono i et al. 2007) – Lamio orvale-Fagetum, Cardamine savensi-Fagetum, Isopyro-Fagetum, Vicio oroboidi-Fagetum, Hacquetio-Fagetum, Helleboro odori-Fagetum, Carici pilosae-Fagetum, Festuco drymeiae-Fagetum, Galio odorati-Fagetum, Polysticho setiferi-Fagetum, Luzulo-Fagetum, Castaneo-Fagetum i Blechno-Fagetum. The numerical analysis of the floral composition was made (cluster analysis, NMDS), as well as the analysis of ecological variables (DCA). To describe ecological conditions, Ellenberg’s indicator values were also used. Clasification was made by cluster analyses in PC-ORD (McCune&Mefford 1999). NMDS was made by R using Vegan (Oksanen et al. 2006) and DCAwas made by CANOCO 4.02 (Ter Braak and milauer 2002). Slavonian hills are situated in the eastern part of Croatia, on the border of the Pannonian and Illyrian floristic area. The area is bordered by themountains of Papuk (953ma.s.l.) and Krndija in the north-west and north, and by the mountains of P

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